Report - - Blaentillery No. 2 Drift Mine, Coity Mountain, Blaenavon - April 2013 | Mines and Quarries | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Blaentillery No. 2 Drift Mine, Coity Mountain, Blaenavon - April 2013


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Blaentillery No. 2 Drift Mine is situated near the top of Coity mountain directly above Big Pit in Blaenavon. The mine was developed in the 1980's by a Mr. Bernard Llewellyn. Mr. Llewellyn was a sheep farmer from Fochriw who had an interesting hobby of blowing holes and driving headings into the sides of mountains in the South Wales valleys. With Blaentillery he moved across two valleys from where he usually operated and began driving two parallel headings at a point several hundred feet above the site of the Roben's Folly drift that was driven by the NCB in 1966 yet never raised an ounce of coal.

From the plans, the headings extended 900 yards before breaking into the workings of the old Red Ash colliery which in turn drain Blaentillery and come out one and a half miles down the valley by Viponds Old Colliery. Bernard Llewellyn sold his interest in the mine and eventually it found its way into the hands of Thomas Martyn Mining Limited run by the Blandford family. Things seemed to bubble on a fairly irregular basis until Blaentillery hit the headlines from a number of different reasons. Firstly, a HSE Prohibition Enforcement Notice was issued with immediate effect on 16th May 2008 because mining operations involve a risk of serious personal injury -

HSE Enforcement Notices Area : Notice Details

The notice mentions inadequate ground control systems which seem plausible as the roof supports in the main roads and especially the working headings did not seem to be dug into the ground but simply placed on the ground. Draining water running towards the old workings then seems to wash away the ground under the supports.

Before that, Blaentillery was the site of the coal mine depicted in the BBC Wales series Coalhouse and Coalhouse at War where families were transported back to the 1920's and 1940's to live the lives of colliers families at that time.

BBC - Wales - Coal House

BBC Wales - Coal House

After the Prohibition Notice, it is doubtful if the mine worked again. The drifts were blocked and the over ground site which is / was covered by a large green shed were left to the elements. It is now fairly trashed as the winds have given it a right hammering and the mountain sheep and ponies have taken up residence. It doesn't look too pikeyed as you can't actually drive to the mine anymore but I'm sure they have been up for a look around. Currently, there is allegedly a planning application before the local council to reopen the mine but that seems to be very hard to believe.

All over ground shots in this report, underground shots are here - http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/non-public-site-reports-discussions/80452-blaentillery-no-2-colliery-bleanavon-may-2013-a.html and http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/non-public-site-reports-discussions/80289-solid-fuel-mine-south-wales-april-2013-a.html

1. The road ahead

2. Welcome

3. First view in

4. Beware of the dog

5. Conveyor

6. Swinging in the wind

7. Last dram

8. Heading 1

9. Conveyor running into Heading 1

10. Electrics

11. Office

12. Track to Heading 2

13. Heading 2

14. King Coal is dead

15. The shed and explosives store

16. View down onto Big Pit